LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) — Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd is asking for the community’s help solving a triple murder in Lakeland.
Polk County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a 911 call about a shooting at 6:45 a.m. on Wednesday morning. They arrived at 2314 East Magnolia Street, lot 2, and found three people dead inside the home and a fourth person who had been shot in the face and is in critical condition.
The victims have been identified as David Washington, 23, Eneida “Stacey” Branch, 31, and Angelica Castro, 23. The victim in critical condition is 18-year-old Felix Campos. Washington and Branch were in a relationship, relatives confirmed.
Judd said it was a bloody scene. “Three people were slaughtered in the home,” he said during a Wednesday morning news conference about the killings.
Judd also said that investigators do not believe that the community is in danger. The home was known as a one-stop shop for drugs, Judd said. You could buy marijuana, pills, cocaine and heroin, he said. “Whatever you needed, they had here,” Judd added.
The sheriff said preliminary evidence indicates the suspects took drugs and/or money from the home, which is in the Combee area of Lakeland.
“We’re coming after you,” Judd told the suspects. He said they’re looking at life in prison or the death chamber. Between 40 and 50 people are working on this investigation, the sheriff said.
Judd asked the public to pass along any information that might help investigators. He encouraged people with information about the crime to come forward and said it’s better to be a witness than a co-defendant.
Anyone with information about the events leading up to the shooting, or anyone who may have details about activity occurring in the area at the time of the shooting, is urged to contact the PCSO at 863-298-6200.
“We solve crimes faster when you, the community, is involved,” Judd said.
Drivers in the area are asked to use Meridian Avenue as the route from Highway 92 to Magnolia. The side streets are narrow in this area.